Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Update On Google's "Back Door"

I was right not to have invested any cash in expensive software to build the "sitemap.xml" files, needed for the fast-track submission of pages to Google.

I've found two free pieces of software which do the job - and even better, a free web service which produces the XML file in just a few minutes.

I'm now carrying out an experiment to see how fast I can get a completely brand-new website into Google's index. I'm making a video of this experiment and will be releasing it to subscribers to my "News Update" weekly newsletter. Like the web service, this video will be completely free.

You can sign up for the newsletter at any page on my Marketing Magic website

Thursday, June 23, 2005

A Backdoor Into Google?

I got an email today, pointing me towards some software, which claims to be any easy way to get all the pages in a website listed very quickly in Google, using a "backdoor" method.

The software's sales page pointed me to a fairly new development - Google Sitemaps.

I've had a quick look, and seem the underlying principle.

Basically, you turn a list of all the pages in your site into an XML file, feed it to Google Sitemaps, and your pages then get into the Google index faster than any other way.

As I said, it was only a "quick look" I had today, and it seems fairly heavy technical stuff.

I'm not investing in the software which claims to make the job easy. But I will be digging deeper to see if I can use this new method. Read more at:


Sunday, June 19, 2005

When To Say No To Offers

Over the past six months, I have invested some serious (for me) money in buying digital goods.

  • Some have been information products which I think can help me to improve my skills
  • Some have been software items which I think will help me to do my job better / quicker / cheaper.
  • Many have been various types of rights to products which I think I can add to my portfolio.
I haven't wasted too much money of the first two categories. I've been fairly selective, and most of the info products / software items I've used and found useful. If they don't live up to their expectations, I ask for a refund. I very rarely do this, and when asking, I always explain to the vendor why I'm asking for a refund. It's only fair to them.

But where I do fall down big time is in the third category.

I have a butterfly mind. There - it's out; I've confessed!

Currently, I've got 1 product about to be launched, three in preparation, five waiting in the wings for me to look at seriously - and half a dozen which I can't ever see myself devoting enough time bringing them to market.

And I've spent quite a bit of money buying these half dozen products. I'm talking of $200 - $400 each.

That's serious money to me.

So why not learn from my mistakes. Here are my rules on when to say "no" to 'irresistable offers'..
  1. Does it fit in with my mainstream product line? If not, say no.
  2. Have I got the time to use it profitably within the next 8 weeks? If not, say no.
  3. Am I really enthusiastic about this product? If not, say no.
  4. Can I afford to spend the time / money developing this product idea? If not, say no.
  5. Is it going to improve my cash flow within the next 12 weeks? If not, say no.
  6. Do I trust the person selling this product to give me reasonable support? If not, say no.
  7. Is it going to lead me into new markets which have a reasonable chance of becoming acceptable within 12 months? If not, say no.
OK, I'll stop there. I'm sure that there are other "rules" which I could think of. Do you have anything else to add? If so, please comment on this article.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Personalised Web Pages

Personalised direct mail has been with us for many years. You know the stuff:

"Only you, Joe Bloggs, has been selected from the residents in High Street, Anytown, to receive this offer".

Old technique! But still effective.

Personalised emails are now also well established. I start my weekly newsletter, "Marketing Magic News Update" with:


.. and my autoresponder picks up from its database the first name of each recipient, and personalises it: "Dear Joe"

Again, not a cutting technique.

How about personalised web pages? There's a variety of techniques.

The simplest is one which gets a website visitor to enter their first name in a form. When they submit the form, the resultant web page is personalised with their name, wherever the webmaster chooses to insert the personalisation.

I've got a simple little PHP script which enables me to send out my newsletter to my subscribers which contains URLs such as:{FIRSTNAME}

Again my autoresponder picks up the subscriber's name from the database, and inserts it wherever I put a bit of code on the page.

There's also a third technique which works on any web page found by a search engine. It picks up the key words (or phrases) which the visitor used to find your page, and repeats them wherever you want - for example, in a headline:

Wanting to find keyword or phrase? You've come to the right place!

But do all these personalisation techniques work? I've yet to be convinced.

I'd appreciate your comments here on this.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Some Blogging Research..

At last - I've found a way that I can put this blog as a scrolling "news ticker" type of box on my websites.

I am now in the process of writing a short report explaining exactly how it is done. The method is very simple, and it's free!

My report will also be free, and I'll put a download link from this blog once I've completed it.

OK - back to writing the report..!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Good Service Is Appreciated

I experienced an excellent example of good service recently.

I decided to invest in some software called ClickBank Download Manager. Basically, it has high levels of security in terms of preventing online products from being stolen. It uses very sophisticated ways of protecting your download links, and it works with PayPal. These are the two payment processors that I use.

So, I downloaded the software, and installed it on my web server. It's very easy to install. The only server-side requirement is that it must have PHP installed (most Unix servers do). And, despite it keeping a record of previous purchases, it doesn't use MySQL, which I found surprising.

However, when I started to investigate all its facilities, a few doubts came into my mind about how well it would meet my needs.

So I shot off a list of 10 questions to the owner of CB Download Manager, Sam Stephens, and I got a detailed reply back within the hour. And Sam is in Australia, where it must have been very late in the evening.

The result of this excellent service: win-win. Sam kept the sale, and I've got a superb download protection system which I now understand a lot better.

If this type of product interests you, have a look at it:

Monday, June 06, 2005

Marks Out Of Ten For Your Website?

I had some of my websites "marked out of 10" this morning. I was quite pleased. They all get more than 8 / 10 !

The "marker" was

Now what they are offering isn't new. But the way that they present the service is original.

Basically, they test any web page you give them, and it looks at broken links, spelling, HTML errors and so on.

It then scores each element of the analysis and gives you an overall score out of 10 points.

It's worth testing your websites from time to time in this way. Errors can easily creep in.

Incidentally, I found the site from a posting on The Internet Warrior Forum, probably the liveliest marketing forum on the Web. I visit it on a daily basis.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

A Sad Day For Internet Marketers

Yesterday I learnt of the tragic death, at the age of 34, of Corey Rudl, one of the world's leading internet marketers.

I've been an associate (although not a very active one in recent years) of Corey's "Internet Marketing Center" since 1999. I remember his first, very primitive, website; but his marketing messages rang clear and true.

His Internet Marketing Course was a world leader. It continues to sell in record numbers today, having gone through numerous updates. I am deliberately not putting my affiliate link to his course as a mark of respect.

Corey lived life in the fast lane, and he "walked the talk". He made $8 million a year online. He died as a passenger in a Porsche Carrera GT on the California Speedway in Fontana.

He was the same age as my daughter, with whom I'm staying as I write this entry. I have three granddaughters. Corey never had this priviledge.

My thoughts go out to his young widow, Tracey.

This is a sombre reminder that life can be short; money can seem to be important in the short term.

But in the longer term, spiritual matters seem to come to the fore.

Later news: There is now a memorial website for Corey where you can add your tributes:

Friday, June 03, 2005

Finding High-Ranking Link Partners

Pay attention! You'll need to concentrate on the next few lines..

Everyone knows that a website's Google rank is improved by having inbound links to it.

And a lot of people know that the higher the Google Page Rank of the site providing a link, the better the ranking of your site will be.

A few people even know that your ranking will be higher if the content of the site providing the link is similar to yours.

I've had a reciprocal links scheme for a long time, and I run it manually. But I'm getting increasingly choosy about my link partners. I insist on their home page having a page rank of at least 4. I reject sites with content that doesn't match that of Marketing Magic. By the way, if you have a website which meets my demanding criteria, and you'd like to exchange links, follow the instructions on this web page.

But I've been struggling to find enough high-quality sites to exchange links with. I know how important it is. But it's a question of time. I don't have too much of it to spare!

I've recently invested in a tool that has now started to save me a lot of time - and it is finding high-quality reciprocal link partners for my various websites.

I'm not going to take up space here describing exactly what it does. But if you (a) have a website and (b) are trying to get reciprocal links (and you should be!), then have a look at "Rank Retriever".

Full details are here

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

GoLexa - A Useful Tool For Webmasters..

GoLexa is an interesting site - especially if you are obsessed with website stats!

It combines a Google search with plugs into a range of other sites which provide website data. The GoLexa search results page gives you the click-through options for such info as:
  • Google PageRank
  • Alexa Rank and web traffic info
  • NetCraft's info on the web server hosting the site
  • Link Popularity on Google, MSN, Yahoo, AltaVista and more
  • Search Engine World's keyword and meta data analyser
.. and so on. Have a look for yourself at GoLexa